Internet service provider Starlink is making a significant impact in the Amazon, where it has equipped the vast majority of cities. However, this technological breakthrough is also aiding the development of criminal activities.
Elon Musk’s satellite revolution, Starlink, has spread across the Brazilian Amazon, with antennas deployed in 90% of cities and villages. While these antennas provide essential connectivity in isolated areas, their presence raises concerns about national sovereignty and fuels certain illegal activities, revealing a controversial aspect of technological advancement.
Launched in 2022, Starlink is becoming the primary provider of fixed satellite broadband in the Amazon. The service mainly benefits remote regions where traditional infrastructure is absent. However, its rapid expansion (697 out of 772 municipalities are already equipped) raises questions about national security and its potential use in illegal activities, as reported by Brazil’s national telecommunications agency and authorities.
During a controversial meeting with former President Jair Bolsonaro in 2019, Elon Musk promised access to Starlink for 19,000 disconnected schools in the Amazon. According to the current Ministry of Education, this promise was not fulfilled. Therefore, the expansion is not entirely optimal, and it is disheartening to see that some criminals are taking advantage of the technology while others are left without access.
Starlink, with its vast constellation of over 5,000 satellites, provides quality internet connection in these isolated regions. However, concerns about national security arise when private companies control critical communication systems. Recently, France accused Starlink of not meeting its legal obligations regarding judicial interceptions and security. Sovereignty issues also come into play, demonstrated by Ukraine’s dependence on multiple levels of the technology.
In conclusion, while Starlink’s satellite internet is bringing connectivity to remote areas of the Amazon, it also raises concerns about national security and its potential facilitation of criminal activities. The expansion of this technology should be accompanied by measures to ensure both connectivity and safety for the population and authorities in the region.